Two Red Canoes

Camping and canoeing resources.

Gear List - Winter Adirondacks Hike

Each year in January or February I join friends for a trip from our home-base in the Greater Toronto Area to the High Peaks area of New York State. It's a long drive (about 7 hours) and we sleep outside in a lean-to. Although the road trip and winter camping is a good time, the main objective is a challenging winter day hike to one or more of the high peaks around Lake Placid (such as Mount Marcy, Algonquin Peak, Mount Colden and Giant Mountain). These hikes are typically 3000' or more of elevation gain, 16-21 km in distance and take 8 to 10 hours.

The weather can vary significantly from sunny, snowy, icy, overcast, and be any where from approximately 0°C to -20°C, getting even colder with altitude gains. And if it's windy at and near the peak, look out, it can be nasty cold!

The following list is the clothing I typically wear and the gear I typically take on such a hike. It's quite a list for a day hike, but these are not simple day hikes. They are difficult, exhausting hikes that cover the extremes: extreme heat and sweating during ascent, extreme wind and cold approaching the peaks, and isolation and distance from help in the event of an accident or becoming lost. My gear list includes items for warmth, traction, dryness, safety, first-aid, calories and survival. The weight of all this gear and emergency equipment adds up. For a trip like this the day pack approaches 20 lbs while carrying a litre of water, the crampons and an ice axe.

Links to retailers are to provide a sample of what to consider and are not necessarily an endorsement of the brand or retailer.

Suggested clothing to wear on a hike in the Adirondacks Suggested day pack contents on a hike in the Adirondacks Suggested clothing and gear to bring for a night of winter camping in the Adirondacks


Base Layer:

Mid Layer:

Outer Layer:


Extra Clothing (in day pack):



Personal First-Aid: